Still don’t have a Grand National horse? It’s understandable, as 40 horses will make their way around these infamous Aintree fences tomorrow.
All of us here at Rein It In hopes that all 40 horses will get back home safely.
In order to make your big decision you’re going to need the low down on all 40 horses. So here listed, are negatives and positives to the full field of 40 that will be running around the 4 miles of Aintree tomorrow.
NON RUNNER DUE TO GROUND
Finished 4th last year, and appears to be in excellent form this season. However, the weight of 11-09 will be a struggle form him, but will likely be ridden under a conservative ride this year.
Likes when the ground is a bit softer, which he’s likely to get in the National this year. Heavier weights aren’t a problem for this horse, having won under 12st earlier this year. Is in top form after a 3rd place finish in the Gold Cup behind Native River and Might Bite. He’s also the pick of top jockey Barry Geraghty.
The Last Samuri:
Ran second in 2016, and attempted to follow up last year, but could only manage 16th. He’s under a more reasonable weight this year, so he’s likely to do better than his 16th place finish last year.
The major concern with Valseur Lido is the distance, as he rarely even runs over 3m, so the 4m4f of the Grand National will be a massive test for him.
He has been chasing for just over a year, and has been relatively consistent, most recently winning three races in a row. He changed trainer to Willie Mullins in September, which could help freshen up his running a little bit.
Alpha Des Obeaux:
A decent hurdler, but the same can’t be said for his chasing form. However, he is trained by a Grand National winning trainer in Mouse Morris, and will be ridden by one of three woman jockeys in the race, so his odds are likely to shorten closer to the race. He has beaten some good horses in the form of Edwulf, Definitly Red, Outlander and Total Recall in four separate races this season, so could be a good each-way shout.
Currently has an outside chance, but looks good only pulling up twice in his 30 starts. At a price of around 66-1 he’s definitely a good each-way bet.
Has form on the softer ground, and isn’t a stranger to Aintree, having run here last year. However, he pulled up. This year could be different, and he’s nabbed four consecutive seconds in the lead up to this race. A great second at Cheltenham last time out.
Has form on the softer going, and ran in this race last year and managed to make it around the course. He hasn’t had the best build up to this race, with two prep runs which resulted in a last place finish and a pull up.
During his prime he was a Hennessy and Irish Gold Cup winner. However, he hasn’t won in almost two years. Should he return to his best form he’s in with a good chance.
NON RUNNER DUE TO GROUND-GOES TO THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL
Most recently he won the Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, his second win at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s a very experienced horse for an 8 year old, with 30 runs under rules. Also prefers the softer side, which is likely to be the going this year.
He won last time out, but this season hasn’t really been one of note, apart from from a third in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase in December.
Vieux Lion Rouge:
Went off the race as favourite last year. In both of his runs in the National he’s got round, with a 7th place and a 6th place, so his jumping skill is clearly not a concern. He’s still young, and got a lively chance.
Chase The Spud:
Winner of the Midlands National last season, but had pulled up in both of his recent. He really relishes soft/heavy ground, so that could be necessary to his chances.
Placed 9 times out of 13 runs, so he’s got form, but isn’t one of the most experienced horses out there.
He’s only run once since March due to a suspensory ligament issue, but returned with a third at Newbury. Stamina won’t be an issue, having more than proven himself with a third in the Scottish National back in April of 2016. Ground shouldn’t be an issue. Was sold just before the race, so that could be a good sign that he’s in good form.
Gas Line Boy:
At 12 years old Gas Line Boy is one of the older horses in the race, which could be seen as a concern for some. He comes here off the back of a third place last time out, beating off some of the other horses entered in the Grand National. Won over the Grand National fences in September, beating Ultragold who has won his second Topham today.
Mixed form this season after a trainer change to Colin Tizzard. Ground shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Last run in February so he should be quite fresh coming into this race.
Ground won’t be an issue after winning two races over just over 3 miles. His most recent win was in February 2017, where he beat Thunder And Roses and Baie Des Iles in a Grade 3 contest. Ran in this race last year, but had a bad mistake at Valentine’s in the second circuit.
Third run in this race. Best result was a 6th place finish in 2016. Last year ended in an unseating at the 2nd Becher’s. Pulled up last time out after a mistake over a jump. Provided he jumps well he could be a player.
Loves this course and this race, having placed twice in his last three runs in it. Both of his runs this season have ended in being pulled up, but it’s impossible to disprove his chances of placing based purely on his love for the course and the track.
NON RUNNER DUE TO GROUND
Raz De Maree:
One of four 13 year olds in the race this year. Won last time out, so he has some great recent form. Managed an 8th place finish in the race back in 2014. Ground may be a bit softer than what he prefers.
I Just Know:
Proven stamina after he lead the entire way in his most recent win over 3m 6f. Doesn’t have as much course experience as most of the other horses do, which could be a concern.
Has received a wind operation after two lesser runs this season. Because of this, he has not run yet in 2018, so he will certainly be fresh coming into this race. His last win came under a weight of 11-12, so he’s certainly got an easy time with his weight. Ground might be too soft for his liking.
Baie Des Iles:
Shortening rapidly, and will probably be sent off favourite. She’s a 7 year old, a grey, and a mare being ridden by a woman jockey in the form of Katie Walsh. She’s attempting to break all the statistics. However, she is a good horse. Won a Grand National Trial when she was 6. She prefers the ground softer as well, which is definitely a positive. The only negative with her, is her lack of course experience.
Didn’t seem to enjoy the fences in the 2015 Topham. Currently at 100-1, so a very outside chance.
80-1 chance. Has only run once this year, and that was an unplaced effort in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival. Completed the Grand National in 2016 with a 13th place finish. Has never fallen whilst racing, so his jumping won’t be an issue.
Disappointing last time out, with a 11th place finish back in January, but before that he was impressive when winning at Sandown. When he ran in the Grand National in 2016 his jumping was a bit iffy, but hopefully that won’t be an issue this time round.
Beat Edwulf back in 2016, but has only had two runs since then. A very inexperienced horse, and that could let him down over the tough Aintree fences. Pulled up last time out, which could give a clue about his form. His price of 80-1 is justified.
Won the Gold Cup all the way back in 2014. Has experience over these jumps with a 7th place finish in the 2017 Grand National, but fell last time out in the Becher Chase, which might effect his confidence over these fences.
Going will not be an issue. Made mistakes when going over these fences back in December, when finishing 6th to Gas Line Boy. Won over hurdles last time out to freshen him up.
Houblon Des Obeaux:
Ground won’t be an issue. Been over the fences before when finishing 10th in last year’s Grand National. Was 3rd last time out, but was pulled up in the race before that due to a mistake at one of the fences.
Bless The Wings:
One of the 13 year olds, so he’s getting on a bit and will likely be beaten by a younger horse. Pulled up in the Irish National last time out, however he did beat Tiger Roll over the cross country course at Cheltenham in December.
Will probably shorten, as he has Bryony Frost on board, ground shouldn’t be an issue. 2nd in the Midlands National last time out. His only win this season came in the Betfred Classic under a ride from Bryony Frost.
Was third to Raz De Maree in the mud in the Welsh National. Last time out he came 9th in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. The only concern could be the fact that he has not run over the National jumps before, so his jumping might be a small concern.
A general 100-1 and ran well when 4th in the Kim Muir last time out. Was running well in the 2016 Grand National before a mistake at the 2nd Canal Turn where his jockey lost his irons.
Road To Riches:
Hasn’t won since late 2015. He also hasn’t been over the National fences before, and the distance and going could be concerns for him.
Thunder And Roses:
Was running well in this race last year before he was hampered by a loose horse and unseated his jockey at Valentine’s the first time around. His jumping can be questioned, as he’s fallen in his last two starts. Ground shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but it may effect his jumping even more.
Ground could be an issue, as he’s never run on ground that’s worse than soft. His stamina could be an issue, as he weakened towards the end in the 4 mile Edinburgh National. However, that could be put down to a mistake at the 20th fence.
Walk In The Mill:
Another 100-1 shot, he didn’t fire in the mud behind The Dutchman at Haydock. He hasn’t run over the National fences before, which again could be a concern. However, his jockey has good form over the National fences, which could help him a lot.
Personally, I think Vieux Lion Rouge could place or even win. His stamina might still be in question, but he seems to really enjoy these Aintree fences.